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Populist own goals

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'Stop mass immigration!' - one of the SVP's referendum campaign posters.

  On 9 February, a small majority of Swiss voted in favour of taking measures to ‘curb mass immigration’. For a country whose economy and public services rely heavily on immigration, this was an astonishing sign of abandoning common sense and rational thinking to emotional fear-mongering by the leaders of the nationalist SVP. It’s what […]

Model Bavaria

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A stone's throw from the European Parliament: the Bavarian 'Landesvertretung' in rue Wiertz.

  The most impressive ‘permanent representation’ to the European Union in Brussels is not the French, British of German one, but that of a region: Bavaria. The beautiful ‘château’ just some meters from the European Parliament has been considered megalomaniac by some observers, but is calmly defended by its inhabitants as an excellent real estate […]

Next stop: Jean Monnet

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Timbre Jean Monnet (DE)

125 years ago, on 9 November 1888, Jean Monnet was born in Cognac. A good reason to post an exceptional ‘European Throw-In’ that, for once, has nothing to do with football, but a lot with Europe.

Taxes, polls and strikes – welcome to France!

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The club presidents leave the Elysée like their players leave the pitchafter a lost match.

These days, French football is not so much about goalscoring, match results and league tables. Much of the football talk is dominated by the exceptional tax of 75% on incomes above 1 million that the Hollande government is decided to impose on all companies operating in France over a period of two years. Needless to […]

Style

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Ozil Guardian (3)

Mesut Özil has style, and there’s plenty of evidence on youtube for that. But Mesut Özil also has influence on the style of others. The Guardian to start with: for decades the British quality newspaper had stipulated in its well-known ‘House Style Guide’ that capital letters should have no accents. But Özil’s arrival at Arsenal […]

Surprise, surprise

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Katja Krauss and Karen Espelund. Two surprises.

Germany has voted. And – surprise, surprise – the voters have confirmed the first female Chancellor ever of their Republic for the second time. Surprising then that there was next to no mention of gender equality among the major topics of the election campaign. Not so surprising when one recalls that only last April the […]

8:45 – the European hour

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Unchanged for over 20 years already: the Champions League logo.

  This evening the Champions League will be back. At 20:45, the coins will have been thrown and both the game and its powerful marketing machine will be kicked off yet again across the continent, from Copenhagen to Istanbul, from San Sebastian to Piraeus. There is a lot that can be said against the Champions […]

How English can a German become?

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A picture taken at the National Football Museum, Manchester

There are not many Germans who made it into the hall of fame of English football. There are not many Germans either who were made OBE (‘Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’), especially if they started their stay as POW (prisoner of war) in 1945. In fact, there’s only one who […]

Season’s greetings

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cartoon by Egon Kaiser (EZ)

End of August. Time to update one of my all-time favourite football cartoons. If I remember correctly, it dates from 1992, but it never seems to become obsolete. You just have to update the text of the first three panels of the strip with what you see in the television news, and you can be […]

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